Shillong: No progress has been made in the rescue operations to save the 15 miners who were trapped in a mine at Ksan near Lyteiñ River in East Jaintia Hills since December 13, 2018. The water level at the mines is recorded at 150 feet. Owing to the massive flooding in mines, the efforts to rescue the trapped miners dims with each passing day, the Meghalaya government told the Supreme Court on Monday.

Nearly 10 lakh litres of water has been pumped out of the cave ever since the rescue operation started. However, water from a river kept flooding the cave. Thus, the Navy divers could not go beyond 90 feet. The information was carried forward to the court by the state government. A status report was filed by state’s advocate general Amit Kumar before a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and S Abdul Naze. The report said, “The Navy officer reported that the shaft is too deep, dark and the water level is about 150 feet and (they) were able to dive and check only at the level of 90 feet.”

As on Friday, most of the pumps brought in to draw the water out were yet to be installed, officials said. Only three out of the 13 high-powered pumps that were brought to the site could be installed and used so far, operation spokesperson R Susngi told PTI. “More pumps will be used in the adjacent shafts and we hope that the pumps from Coal India and Kirloskar Brothers are ready at the earliest so that they can also supplement the dewatering process,” said Susngi.

The accident which took place inside the coal pit at Lumthari area holds significance, as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had ordered an interim ban on “rat-hole” coal mining in the state since April 17, 2014.

(With Agency inputs)